Driving : 'LX' Runs Out of Gas at Ford

Ford has dropped the LX designation for its 1994 Mustang. Despite wide public acceptance as a contraction for "luxury," the letters were actually an attempt by Ford to create a global identification system. It failed and the letters stayed to assume a life without meaning.

Time has faded similar designations into relics.

To be fair, GT does denote Grand Touring, GS still means Gran Sport, GP continues to stand for Grand Prix.

LS seems appropriate for Lexus' LS400, a genuine Luxury Sedan. Cadillac's Seville STS certainly is a Super Touring Sedan.

But the 3-year-old Acura NSX wears a misnomer. It can no longer mean: New Sportscar Experimental.

GV means grande vitesse , French for full speed. In a Yugo GV, full speed meant 58 mph.

Mercedes' designations historically referred to characteristics of body style or engine. SL meant Super Light. No more. The current Mercedes 600SL weighs more than two tons--or three Geo Metro XFis.

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